By David Colman
For: 306hp, 8-speed Tranny, Turbine Wheels
Against: Stop/Start Nonsense, Neolithic Dash Slab
BMW has just introduced its latest interpretation of the 3 Series sedan. It’s still fast, nimble, handsome and expensive. You can order the base model 328i (base price: $35,795) which depends on a 4 cylinder turbo to make 240hp, or you can up the ante to the 306hp, 6 cylinder twin turbo 335i which we tested (Base price: $42,400). Let’s start with fast. The silky six makes peak torque of 295 lb.-ft from just off idle (1,200rpm) all the to 5,000rpm. Its Steptronic automatic transmission offers 8 gears to harness that endless torque, meaning that the 335i rockets you from 0 to 60mph in under 5 seconds, and tops out at an electronically controlled 155mph. If serious squirt is high on your purchase list, the new 335i fits the bill and then some.
Even though BMW has increased the wheelbase of the 3 Series by 1.9 inches, this sedan retains its close-coupled feel and quick reflexes. Curb weight of 3,500 pounds and an overall length of 182.5 inches indicate that BMW has worked hard to provide more interior space without resorting to increases in overall weight or size. The engine block, for example, is cast in aluminum. As a result, when you crank the wheel of the 335i into a sharp bend, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the responsiveness and balance of the chassis, steering and motor. Without question, the latest 3 is still one of the world’s best sports sedans.